To photograph means to direct one's attention, to focus and to frame. It also means to select from a wide variety of possible motifs. Tom Jacobi's motif is expressed in the title of this superbly done tome: Grey Matter in all sorts of shape and form. Does that mean that what you photograph is not relevant? That the only thing that matters is the grey colours?
"Anyone who in some way contributed to our religious writings and traditions was clearly convinced that the most important events had to take place in the grey of night", Tom Jacobi writes.
There is something deeply spiritual that emanates from these pictures; it did not come as a suprise to learn that the idea for this project was conceived in a tiny monk's cell at the foot of Mount Sinai
In February 2014, on a trip to Antarctica Jacobi discovered that the blue-white continent was indeed blue-white "but only when the sun gained the upper hand. Most of the time, though, a permanently changing cloud cover ensured the Antarctic presented itself in all possible shades of grey. Yet it wasn't at all dreary; it was simply beautiful. No colour was screaming for attention or calling out: 'Hey, you over there, look at me!' That grey landscape radiated unbelievable energy and meditative calm. I was at one with everything around me."
This meditative calm is exactly what I'm experiencing every time I look at these fabulous pics. They radiate a timelessness that is inspiring and make my mind not only tranquil but also wander and wonder. They are an invitation to contemplate eternity.
Moeraki, New Zealand
What we get to see are archaic landscapes which have been shaped by nature. They look magical and despite us knowing them to be real they, occasionally, appear strangely unreal.
The photographs in Grey Matter(s) were taken over a period of two years in Antarctica, New Zealand, Western Australia, Patagonia (Chile as well as Argentina), Norway, Northern Island, Scotland, Iceland, Namibia, Arizona, California, Utah, New Mexico, and Oregon.
Hirmer Publishers, Munich 2016